Station volunteers honored

5 May 2005 | Lance Cpl. Natasha S. Green Marine Corps Air Station Yuma

Marine Corps Community Services held the fifth annual Volunteer Appreciation Award Event at the Sonoran Pueblo Consolidated Club here April 28.

The purpose of the event was to recognize personnel who volunteered their time and efforts to benefit the station community.

There are about 385 volunteers aboard station, including civilian spouses, retirees and active duty service members and their families, and nearly one quarter of those volunteers were recognized at the event, said Tracey Hughes, station volunteer coordinator.

During the award ceremony, guest speakers mentioned the importance of volunteer services to the community, and awards were presented to more than 175 volunteers in attendance.

Many of the station's support services and divisions, including the American Red Cross, Navy Marine Corps Relief Society, Boy Scouts, Young Marines Program, Family Services, Key Volunteer Network, Marine Corps Family Team Building, had volunteers recognized during the event.

The volunteers assist service members and their families in a variety of fields including finance, parenting, leisure and even dealing with domestic violence.

"We organized this event to show appreciation to these people for all of the hard work they put in," said Hughes. "They volunteer because it is personally rewarding for them. This event serves as an end result of their good deeds."

Hughes said although the station's support services and divisions hold their own personnel appreciation events, this one was essential because they were all gathered together and commended at the same place and time. This gave the volunteers an opportunity to meet with each other and celebrate their accomplishments together.

One of the NMCRS volunteers, Lynn Bankard, said she encourages anyone with spare time to volunteer on station.

"It is very gratifying to be able to help Marines," said Bankard. "It has helped me grow as a person and it has brought a lot out of me. It feels good when someone comes to me and says they are having a problem and I am able to help them."

Col. James J. Cooney, station commanding officer, was one of the guest speakers during the ceremony.

In the three years he has been on station, Cooney  estimates that he has signed nearly one thousand certificates. He said he never finds the task tedious, because he considers it an honor to personally thank the volunteers for their contributions.

"I truly appreciate the great work they have done on behalf of this community," said Cooney.

The roles volunteers assume each day are essential to station service members and their families, and these roles do not go unrecognized, said Cooney.

Sherri Coble, MCFTB manager, said she is thankful to be appreciated for her volunteer efforts. Her role as a station volunteer has helped her support her spouse, who is a Marine, while he supports the country, and she is grateful for the opportunity to contribute to her community, she said.

"People will not care how much you know until they know how much you care," said Coble.

To volunteer or for more information, call Tracey Hughes, volunteer coordinator, at 269-5233.
Marine Corps Air Station Yuma